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We never follow trends: Rajesh Pratap Singh

Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh on his final Satya Paul collection, Lakme fashion week showcase and why worrying about the cancel culture is not a good idea

From Rajesh Pratap Singh's showcase at the Lakme Fashion Week, earlier this month in Mumbai
From Rajesh Pratap Singh's showcase at the Lakme Fashion Week, earlier this month in Mumbai

Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh has just presented his final collection for Satya Paul, The Flower Wild. After four years at the helm, Singh is bidding goodbye to the brand—David Abraham, Rakesh Thakore and Kevin Nigli of Abraham & Thakore are the new creative directors of Satya Paul, a brand known for colourful prints.

“This collection is a tribute to the arts and crafts movement,” says Singh, talking about The Flower Wild.

A tunic from 'The Flower Wild' collection
A tunic from 'The Flower Wild' collection

Earlier this month at the Lakme fashion week in Mumbai, Singh had presented a stellar collection, in collaboration with Argentinian apparel brand La Martina, offering a tribute to the symbolic synergy between Jaipur and the sport of polo.

Reliance Brands Limited, the retail arm of the conglomerate Reliance Industires, have a stake in Satya Paul and Abraham & Thakore.

Also read: Abraham & Thakore: The masters of minimalism

In an interview with Lounge, Singh talks about Satya Paul's spring-summer 2024 collection, The Flower Wild, the Mumbai showcase and more. Edited excerpts:

Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh
Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh

What's the idea behind ‘The Flower Wild’?

The collection is an expression of my love for the work of (British textile designer and poet) William Morris. It was an adaptation of classic WM and other artists, to the DNA of Satya Paul.

Could you talk about the Lakme fashion show collection… how did you conceptualise bringing fashion and polo together?

We used some old hand-stitching and garment construction techniques and mixed it with modern tailoring to keep the idea relevant and true to the game. Then we used a lot of watercolour artworks inspired by “Company style" paintings, which were done from scratch, hand block printing, and customised jacquard weaving to execute thee artworks.

As a brand, your design vocabulary has remained steady…

Our energy and efforts are to make something of consequence. As soon as we finish one project or product, we are on to the next one. This leaves us with very little time or energy to judge or work towards pleasing an individual. So, to worry about the cancel culture is detrimental to our state of being. Our job is to create things.

We, as a rule, never follow “trends”. We are always keen on new technologies, fibers, fabrics and finishing. What is popularly known as “fashion trend” is very secondhand to us.

How has the Indian fashion industry evolved over the years?

Fashion expression in India is way more “confident” than what it was, say in the mid 90s when designers from my generation started. There is a lot of interesting young talent out there. The integration with the core industry and the designers is much more. There is a mature customer, who is interested and understands the indigenous designers and their products.

Also read: What's trending? Varsity-inspired style of dressing



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